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ATA Says Industry Could Lose 37% of Driver Workforce Due to COVID Vaccine Mandates



In official comments (below) to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs—the White House, the ATA reported that based on survey data, carriers subject to the vaccine mandates risk losing approximately 74% of those unvaccinated employees or 37% of their total workforce of drivers to smaller carriers or retirements/resignations.

The comments read in part:

ATA Members representing small, medium and large carriers surveyed their drivers on a vaccine mandate. The average (mean) driver vaccination rate across responding carriers was only 50% -- meaning only half of responding drivers were vaccinated as of September 2021. Of those, 62% on average (again, a mean) of the unvaccinated also stated they would not get vaccinated under any circumstances, with a similar number saying there were no incentives the company could provide to change their mind. When asked what they would do if a vaccine mandate were to be implemented at their employer, 25% of the unvaccinated stated they would leave the trucking industry altogether and 49% stated they would move to smaller carrier not subject to the mandate. Assuming that is broadly representative and they actually follow through, a vaccine mandate would then result in all carriers subject to it losing approximately 74% of those unvaccinated employees or 37% of their total workforce of drivers to smaller carriers or retirements/resignations.”

The letter formally requests that the Administration:

  1. Exempt truck drivers from the ETS, in the same manner that Canada has in its national vaccine mandate;

  2. Ensure fleets that hold federal contracts are not subject to overlapping, contradictory requirements; and

  3. Allow for a reasonable implementation deadline of at least 90 days.

It bears repeating that no rule—draft or otherwise—has been made public to date. The ATA hopes the Administration heeds industry concerns. ATA is prepared to respond to every possible outcome, with all options on the table, including potential legal action if necessary.


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